Saturday, 22 March 2014

Southbank: the Liveliest Place in London

Twenty years ago Royal Festival Hall and its environs were pretty dreary - definitely not a destination for the family.  There was no Eye and the area between the Thames and Waterloo was quite frankly dodgy.  Fast forward to last Sunday and it's practically unrecognisable: so vibrant and completely brimming full of events, including street performers, restaurants, market food, a carousel, music, second-hand books and Londoners & visitors that come in their droves to enjoy a sunny afternoon.  It gave me the opportunity to snap some environmental portraits of some of the more colourful characters.

The Annual Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens

It's hard to describe what it feels like to see the incredible annual orchid exhibition held at the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew Gardens because it's so much more overwhelming than you'd ever expect.  First of all it happens around the end of winter, second, it's like walking into a tropical forest for a couple of hours and thirdly, it's a marvel how those talented gardeners and florists at Kew manage to hang and arrange that many orchids in such a wide variety of ways.

I took pictures with both my Canon and iphone, the latter of which I shared on Instagram with the hashtag #KewOrchids.  Such incredible fun for someone who loves Kew, loves delicate blossoms and loves photography.  Triple result.  Oh, and when I framed some of the prints, they were my best sellers at the Kew Village Market on the 2nd of March.

Friday, 21 March 2014

A Spring in our Collective Step

Over the course of my 24 years of life in this green and pleasant land, I can't recall a March quite like this one.  It's been warm, sunny, blooming and just plain wonderful.  The conditions have been absolutely perfect for yours truly, FlaneurGirl, to wander the streets and parks of southwest London taking in light and colour and giving my rendition in images.  And remember, it's a great time of year to have family portraits taken, particularly in Kew Gardens or your local play park.  Just give me a shout - 0775 380 3732 - and we can make a plan.

Here are some shots from my wondrous wandering:

I'm particularly happy that this single photo received more likes on Facebook than any of my other photos to date: 64!   Many many thanks to all my followers.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

My Market Stall at the Kew Village Market

On the 2nd of March I displayed and sold a selection of my work at the award-winning Kew Village Market.  It was such a privilege to be part of such a vibrant and high quality group of small businesses here in my home town.  On my stall were framed photos as well as greetings cards.  The most popular were my pictures of blossoms from the recent Kew Orchid Festival as well as views of the Thames from Marble Hill and the architectural detail of the Supreme Court.  Also many cards of the roses of Kew Village proved popular.  I also owe a debt of gratitude to my daughter, Lindsey, who helped me set up, chat with customers and take down the stall, as well as the organiser Hilde Bysheim who arranged for my pitch and my older daughter Lauren for moral support.

I so look forward to the next market at which I'll be displaying which is the 1st of June 2014.  If there is any photo of mine from my website, Facebook page or blog that you'd like to have enlarged and framed, please do drop me a note. I can deliver free within the M25.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Freedom to Breathe and Dream

My older daughter is on the end of term break from her art foundation course at the University of Falmouth.  This uni has a brilliant reputation in the arts; consequently there's highly competitive admission process.  For those students coming from London, it’s also a major culture shock.  Since moving to the UK 24 years ago, the single area outside of the London metropolis that we’ve visited for holidays is Cornwall.  I absolutely love it there as it feels like another country.  The air couldn’t be cleaner, the sky bluer, the people kinder.  It’s the combination of beauty, isolation, intensity and intimacy that make it a unique place to ponder and produce art of all kinds.  

Monday, 17 March 2014

Standing With Syria

Last Thursday evening, my younger daughter and I attended the #withSyria rally in Trafalgar Square.  I’d heard about this through Banksy’s Facebook status as one of his stencil works was to be projected on to Nelson’s Column.  We arrived a little bit late, but nonetheless, there was a certain buzz, with music of the region and speeches from impassioned relatives.  It also provided an opportunity to talk about world events with my daughter.  I don’t have many detailed answers, but at least the rally raised awareness that the tragedy that has befallen the innocents of Syria carries on.  We, the connected of the social media world, have short attention spans. We need to remember that the real world exists and that pain and suffering are closer than we realise.  And that injustice breeds resentment and retaliation that can span generations.